Whether you’re the designated driver (how is it your turn again?!), teetotal or simply trying to cut down, sometimes the hard liquor often found in popular cocktails isn’t the best option, but that shouldn’t mean you have to miss out on the flavour and enjoyment of sipping on a delicious cocktail whilst everyone else gets tipsy.
Over the last few years, the demand for NoLo (no to low alcohol) drinks has dramatically increased. Where once the only low alcohol drinks available were suspiciously Ribena-tasting low proof wines, there are now lots of exciting independent brands such as Nine Elms and Binary Botanical leading the way with low or no alcohol options.
If you’re wondering, no alcohol is defined as anything below 0.5% ABV whilst low alcohol is typically around 10% or lower.
We’ve compiled a list of the best cocktails which contain little to no alcohol without sacrificing on flavour. These cocktails utilise lower proof liqueurs, or beer and wine as a base instead of strong spirits as well as a couple of non-alcoholic options for when you want to abstain all together.
These cocktails are great when you’re planning on day drinking – after all it’s a marathon not a sprint!
Who doesn’t love this brunch classic? Refreshing, easy drinking and super simple to make, Mimosas are perfect for when you’re trying to lower your alcohol intake. Just make sure your measures are Mimosa standard and not Bucks Fizz! Often mistaken as the same drink, Mimosas contain equal measures of champagne and juice whilst Buck’s Fizz is two parts champagne and one part juice.
- Grapefruit juice
- Champagne or Prosecco (chilled)
- Raspberry garnish
- Mint leaves
Fill a champagne flute halfway with grapefruit juice (you can go heavier with the juice if you want to reduce the alcohol content further). Top up with prosecco. Garnish with raspberry and mint.
Mimosas are the perfect cocktail to experiment with – switch the juice to mango or cranberry and play around with garnishes for a bit of variety (we love pomegranate juice and a sprig of rosemary!)
Vermouth Cassis is light and refreshing and makes a great substitute for a gin and tonic on a warm day. As the name suggests, this cocktail contains vermouth and cassis which is low in alcohol and is further diluted with the sparkling water. When serving, leave unstirred for a beautiful, layered cocktail.
- 60ml Dry Vermouth
- 30ml Crème de Cassis
- Sparkling water
Fill a high ball glass with ice. Add the vermouth and Crème de Cassis and stir well. Top up with sparkling water.
Loah Lime Shandy
Ok, ok we know this one isn’t strictly a cocktail (has ‘beer-tail’ caught on yet?!) but we thought it deserved a place on our list as it’s a great option to still enjoy your favourite beer whilst making it lower in alcohol. In this one we’ve used Loah 0.5% which makes it non-alcoholic. No beer fear needed.
- Loah beer 0.5%
- Juice of one lime
Add the beer and juice of one lime to a pint glass. Top up with lemonade and garnish with lime.
Loah beer also only contains 39 calories so it’s great if you want to avoid sugary cocktails, just choose lemonade with no added sugar.
Nine Elms Sangria
Nine Elms No.18 is a versatile, non-alcoholic beverage which works well in place of wine or great in cocktails. Here we’ve used it instead of red wine in this Spanish crowd pleaser.
- Full bottle of NINE ELMS No.18
- Oranges broken into segments
- Strawberries sliced into thin rounds
- Pears cut into small chunks
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Ginger ale
- Orange for garnish
Place all the fruit into a large bowl, sprinkle the cinnamon over the fruit and mix to coat. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to macerate.
Fill a pitcher with ice then tip in the fruit and cinnamon. Add the NINE ELMS No.18, top up with ginger ale. Serve with a garnish orange twist.
What would a cocktail list be without a mojito? The mint, lime and sugar flavours of a traditional mojito are so delicious that removing the rum doesn’t affect the enjoyment of this Cuban cocktail but adding a little apple juice compliments the other flavours beautifully.
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Small bunch of mint
- Juice of 1 lime
- Soda water
- 3 tablespoon apple juice
Using a pestle and mortar muddle the sugar with the mint leaves to release the aromas. Add to a high ball glass then add the lime and crushed ice.
Pour over the apple juice and then give everything a stir, top up with soda water and garnish with mint leaves.
Five great cocktails to keep you out all night with none of the hangover the next day. You can thank us later.